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franklin county times

Quick journey through the world of obscure teams

By By Tony Krausz/assistant sports editor
July 3, 2004
We here at the Rants &Rambles office are a simple lot.
It really doesn't take much to keep us happy, so when we arrived home to find a package from minorleaguebaseball.com on our doorstep we were ecstatic.
Inside this simple brown box was one of the better purchases made in the name of office morale that R&R has ever done the official home hat of the Montgomery Biscuits.
The Biscuits are the double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and the team made its way from Orlando to play its first season in Alabama this year. The Biscuits were known as the Orlando Rays before the move to Alabama.
We here at R&R have never seen the Biscuits, or the Rays for that matter, play, nor do we have any feelings for or against the Tampa Bay organization. But the hat was too good to pass up.
At the minor league baseball Web site, you can purchase virtually every hat for every team in the minors from affiliated to independent leagues.
The Biscuits' hat is yellow with a blue bill. Okay that is not exciting, but the logo of a giant M with a little biscuit peeking around it is fantastic.
There is just something about buying a hat with what looks like a McDonalds' egg mcmuffin peaking around a giant letter with cartoon eyes and white-gloved hands.
But the search for hats doesn't end with the Biscuits, and the employees at R&R will probably have to request a raise because of all of the appealing apparel at minorleaguebaseball.com.
Up next for the R&R office are the Asheville Tourists, the single-A team for the Colorado Rockies.
The Tourist hats have a bear walking out of the hat with a bat on his shoulder it almost sounds humdrum and definitely no biscuit.
But the bear is wearing a Hawaiian style shirt, carrying a suit case and has a baseball cap on. This is just something everyone should own, and it is the beauty of minor league baseball.
Unlike the pros, minor league ball isn't stuffy and hung up on tradition.
Minor league clubs get to have fun with its logos and teams, and let's face it, if you were deciding to choose between the intertwined N and Y of the Yankees or a bear with a Don Ho shirt and a suitcase, your taking the bear.
Also on the great hat wish list is the Lansing Lugnuts.
This single-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs has a lugnut trying to twist itself into the base of a giant L, and of course, the logo is completed with a pair of cartoon eyes that show the lugnuts struggles to connect itself to the L.
The Norwich Navigators, the double-AA team for the San Francisco Giants, are also on the list of a needed purchase.
The Navigators logo is an alligator dressed up a like a boat captain peering through a telescope while giving you the thumbs up. How much more exciting does this sound than the University of Florida's simple gator head, which might be a crocodile?
The Portland Sea Dogs also need to be placed in that fictional Internet shopping cart.
The Sea Dogs, a double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, have a seal pup clutching a bat while hanging out of the loop on a giant red P. That's just good times.
But of course, not every minor league team hat can be a winner.
The Atlanta Braves affiliates outside of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, which has a cartoon bird ready to swing at a ball on their hats are just various renditions of the normal Braves logo with the team name underlined by a tomahawk.
And just try and find a minor league hat for a team affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals that doesn't have some kind of rendition of the Red Bird. Now the bird is classy, but come on guys this is the minors have some fun and be inventive.
Like the Everett Aquasox, an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, which has a green frog with red eyes and feet balancing a baseball on its tongue. Now that's fun.
Plus, it seems to be a theory for some of these teams to make a hat that is so ridiculous that it adds extra motivation to the guys in the farm system to move up so they never have to were the team's logo again.

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